A Nobel Prize winner who discovered the AIDS virus is speculating COVID-19 is the result of a lab accident.
French professor and virologist Luc Montagnier believes SARS-CoV-2 accidentally was unleashed on the world as Chinese scientists at Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory were attempting to manufacture a vaccine against the AIDS virus in an "industrial" accident, he told Agence France Presse.
Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine, but has been mocked by scientific experts for his wild theories.
But Montagnier is skeptical how the COVID-19 contains elements of HIV and malaria, he told CNews Channel.
"The Wuhan city laboratory has specialized in these coronaviruses since the early 2000s," Montagnier said, according to an Asian Times translation. "They have expertise in this area."
Montagnier, who has also been mocked by scientists for being anti-vaccinations – saying vaccines originate "with good will at the start" but are ultimately "poisoning the entire population little by little" – has been derided for this AIDS/malaria theory.
"That does not make sense; these are very small elements that we find in other viruses of the same family, other coronaviruses in nature," virologist Étienne Simon-Lorière of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where Montagnier used to work, told AFP.
"These are pieces of the genome that actually look like lots of sequences in the genetic material of bacteria, viruses and plants. If we take a word from a book and it looks like another word, can we say that one has copied from the other? This is absurd!"
Scientific studies have already rejected theories COVID-19 is a manipulated virus, using the COVID-19 provided by China and their scientists studying the infectious disease.
The Wuhan lab in question was constructed with French assistance in a 2004 co-op on preventing and controlling infectious diseases, according to Nature.com.
"But the complexity of the project, China's lack of experience, difficulty in maintaining funding and long government approval procedures meant that construction wasn't finished until the end of 2014," according to Nature.com.
Nature's February 2017 report stated: "Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world's greatest biological threats."
As recently reported by Newsmax, the Obama Administration awarded a $3.7 million grant to the lab in 2015.